No clause for concern with defender as Pompey learn lesson

Jed Wallace had a �275,00 release clause at Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jed Wallace had a �275,00 release clause at Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey midfielder hungry to maintain unbroken run

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Mark Catlin insists he has ‘learnt’ from the drawbacks of including release clauses in players’ contracts.

And Pompey’s chief executive intimated there is no such stipulation in prized asset Matt Clarke’s deal.

Sometimes, even though it is legally in your hands, from a moral point of view it gets taken out of your hands

Mark Catlin

Clarke last month extended his Fratton Park stay until the summer of 2020.

However, many supporters still fear the highly-regarded 21-year-old will depart at the season’s end.

Pompey are in no position to turn down sizeable bids from the Championship and beyond for a defender surely in the reckoning for player of the season awards this term.

Yet extending his contract strengthens the club’s hand should there be interest.

And Catlin believes they have learnt from the Jed Wallace £275,000 release clause – albeit Wolves still signing him for around £750,000.

He said: ‘We always try not to have release clauses in contracts now.

‘There is the infamous Jed Wallace release clause and in life you learn.

‘But if it’s a case of not getting someone you really want and the release clause is high enough then it’s something you would always look at.

‘I am not commenting on Matt Clarke’s contract but let’s just say it’s something we have learnt from and desperately try not to have.

‘It is important to be clear there is no need for us to sell any player we don’t want to sell. And with any of our prized assets, when you extend a deal – like Matt – it gives you a stronger position.’

In the summer of 2016, Adam Webster was sold to Ipswich for around £700,000, with Pompey also receiving Clarke.

That windfall was used to strengthen a side which went on to claim the League Two title.

And Catlin acknowledged sometimes clubs cannot keep hold of talent.

He added: ‘Legally you can turn down bids, contractually you can turn down bids but so many other things come into play.

‘Sometimes, even though it is legally in your hands, from a moral point of view it gets taken out of your hands.

‘This is the same at every football club.

‘You are legally within your rights to turn down a bid but from a moral point of view that is difficult.

‘For example, if the player is subject to a bid and his salary maybe goes up tenfold elsewhere, then it is very difficult to keep him at your club.

‘We want people who want to play for Portsmouth Football Club.’